The Right Recipe for Success


Back in 2009, Carina Gonato was a simple housewife who tried to make ends meet by selling consigned chicken lumpia around her neighbourhood. Upon the suggestion of her neighbours and recognizing that she could potentially earn more, she decided to make and sell her own chicken lumpia. It took her three months to perfect the recipe. After numerous taste tests, gathering her neighbors’ feedback, and tweaking the recipe, she finally gave it a go initially selling her lumpia inside the Mactan Export Processing Zone compound. Through word of mouth, her lumpia gained popularity and soon, orders started pouring in. She named her budding business Nateck’s Lumpia House, after her husband.

Initially, she did not have problems with sourcing her chicken supply because she only used up 5 kilos per day. But as her orders increased, she needed to have additional capital to catch up with the demand. When she learned about First Agro Industrial (FAIR) Rural Bank, Inc.’s microloan product, Pamilya, she immediately sent the required documents and applied for a loan. The bank granted the initial loan of PhP50,000 (US$ 1,162) for working capital. Her succeeding loans from FAIR Bank helped her to buy new equipment, increase production, and diversify into hog raising.

To date, her enterprise’s annual profit amounts to PhP 2,000,000 (US$ 46,481) of which 90% are reinvested in the business. The business has now uses more than 1,000 kilos of chicken a day to meet the rising demand for her chicken lumpia. She now also exports her lumpia to Malaysia and Qatar. Mrs. Gonato has expanded and now employees fifty (50) workers, many who came from the poorest provinces in the Visayas region. The Department of Science and Technology has been assisting her in business development by providing inputs to improve her production area, train her workers, and guide her in the basics of food processing.

“We would not have achieved this kind of success without FAIR Bank. They acted as a financial bridge to help us grow our business,” said Mrs. Gonato.